New Jersey’s sports betting industry is still fresh and cannot risk public trust in state-regulated sportsbooks.
During the Sunday Broncos vs Raiders NFL game, Newark resident Anthony Prince placed a $110 in-play wager on the Broncos winning one minute before the end of the game at the Meadowlands on 750-1 odds. After the game concluded with the Broncos on top, Prince went to the FanDuel ticket window to retrieve his winnings to which the window clerk refused to honor. The clerk stated his ticket winning of over $82,000 was the cause of an erroneous flaw in the system’s odds calculation and stated his odds should have been 1-6 where his winning would only total $18.35.
Prince disputed his right to the winnings and FanDuel claimed no responsibility to payout such an amount caused by a system glitch. The clerk stated they could not payout the ticket based on FanDuel’s House Rules which accounts for obvious errors and malfunctions and claims no obligation to pay in these cases. FanDuel then continued by offering prince $500 and skybox seat tickets to future New York Giants games, stating he ought to take the offer because they are not obligated to provide Prince with anything else.
A spokesperson for FanDuel during this incident, Kevin Hennessy, says a number of other bettors also placed wagers using the glitch’s odds over an 18-second interval but had their winnings removed as per policy. FanDuel and its spokesmen have declined to reveal how many individual bettors placed wagers using the incorrect odds. However, the company did reveal the other bettors also affected by the glitch wagered on the FanDuel sportsbook app.
Prince, part of the affected party stated to local news outlets he would rather use a corner bookie than FanDuel because at least the bookie would pay. State-regulated sportsbooks are in place to provide the public with a sense of peace and security, offering protection against strong-arm tactics, being hustled by illegal bookies, and wrongful business practices. Director of the New Jersey Gaming Enforcement David Rebuck announced an investigation into the matters concerning FanDuel’s glitch stating they would “look into how it occurred, given internal control exist to prevent such an error”.
Later that week on Thursday, FanDuel released a statement reversing their stance on the glitch issue. The company said they would honor Prince’s ticket winnings of $82,000 and payout the other bettors affected by the system malfunction. In the same tone, FanDuel apologized for the error and promised to give away another $82,000 by depositing $1,000 into 82 random customer accounts over the coming weekend.
FanDuel’s sportsbook went live in new jersey July 14th at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford. One month after FanDuel began offering sports wagering the company made $3 million. Clearly, payment was not an issue.